Written answers

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Payments

Photo of Seán CanneySeán Canney (Galway East, Independent)
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651. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has had their disability allowance reduced when they got married and is now relying on their spouse to support them financially; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41466/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all the evidence, disallowed the disability allowance appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision on 2 October 2020. The question before the Appeals Officer was whether the appellant’s weekly means, which were based on his spouse's earnings from employment, had been correctly assessed, in line with the governing legislation.

A decision of an Appeals Officer is generally final. However, under social welfare legislation an Appeals Officer may revise his or her decision where it appears to him or her that the decision was erroneous in the light of new evidence or new facts which have been subsequently brought to his or her notice.

I am advised that the person concerned subsequently submitted additional evidence and that the Appeals Officer reviewed the appeal decision on foot of this additional evidence. The Appeals Officer did not find any new facts or fresh evidence which warranted a revision of the decision. The person concerned was notified of this on 18 December 2020.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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